Review of £10 000 gender pay gap in medicine is launchedBMJ 2018; 361 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2366 (Published 29 May 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2366
All rapid responses
The gender pay gap is a misnomer which has worked its way into common parlance these days and creates the insinuation that women are on a lower pay grade than men by virtue of their gender. This is patently untrue. Men and women are paid the same hourly rate for the same level of experience. Take home pay only varies depending on the number of hours that are worked. Some firms require more overtime and on-call and will therefore pay high wages, independent of gender. Aside from this, when women take time off for maternity-leave and reduce their hours for child rearing, they will naturally be paid less. Equally, as children grow, mothers may naturally choose the more important role of nurturer over career advancement. This is a voluntary choice and not one to be discouraged, as the work of a caring parent is the most important and rewarding endeavour one can ever hope for. Political rhetoric on this matter is not helpful, with statements such as "a15% gap has no place in a modern employer" serving only to create division. By all means the NHS should ensure that women have all the support they require, if they wish to return to work (i.e child-minding, job-sharing etc), however it must fall short of such policies as gender quotas and equality of outcome, as these will not service women well in the long run.
Competing interests: No competing interests